Hello! If you read my last post about the 5 most frequent questions we receive from expecting mothers, welcome back. If you missed that one and are now joining me in the trenches of new motherhood, or you are back for your second, third, or even fourth and beyond tour of duty, welcome to you. Congratulations on successfully navigating your way through pregnancy. The easy part is over. Ha!
I don’t know about you, but motherhood has meant reexamining what I thought multi-tasking looked like in every aspect of my life. It has proven to be a sleep-depriving, insanity-inducing, amazing, magical, experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. But holy moly is it a challenge. Luckily, we live in a world that offers us products that can prove useful as we figure out this new role. I’m here today to tell you about the ones we carry at Bra Genie that I have personally found to be invaluable.
August is breastfeeding awareness month, so naturally I should start with discussing the myriad of options we have for those choosing that path, but I really feel that I need to start at the beginning. Let’s talk postpartum y’all.
There is nothing, and I truly mean nothing, that is less thrilling than ordering yourself a pack of Depends to supply your hospital bag for after birth. In my personal experience, I am 36, so I was already deemed a geriatric pregnancy (can we PLEASE find a new name for this????), so ordering myself adult diapers was just the cherry on top of that whole scenario. However, once things calmed down a bit, down there, I was so grateful to be able to slip into a pair of our Proof Panties. These moisture control panties – often used as a period panty - offer ranges of protection from super heavy to ultra-lite. They look and feel like everyday underwear while offering the protection to keep you dry and leak free. We were skeptical ourselves at first, but after testing them out, we all agree, these panties rock! So, when you are ready to ditch the diapers and get into some underwear that helps you back on the road to normalcy, grab yourself some Proof Panties. Bonus, they are machine washable! Just hang to dry and they will last well beyond your postpartum needs (welcome back Aunt Flo).
Now on to the main event, all things nursing.
Nursing tanks have very quickly become part of my standard wardrobe. I discussed how nice these are during pregnancy in my last post, but part of what makes them such a great piece to have before baby comes is that they are super useful after birth as well. Especially if you plan to nurse. I enjoy these because they offer me casual level support around the house, which to me is far more comfortable than just hanging loose all day long (and offers the appropriate level of coverage around my teenage stepsons). The material is soft with a gentle stretch that gives your post baby body some support as well. There are some days where I change from one pair of lounge pants and a nursing tank to another, separated only by a quick shower while baby girl naps. I can honestly say that these are an integral part of my maternity leave wardrobe and I expect will be my day off attire for months to come.
Hands Free Pumping Bra:
As I type this, I am currently pumping on both sides with the help of my handy dandy pumping bra! We offer a couple of options to accommodate a variety of chest sizes and budgets at our stores. My current favorite is our newest Lotus pumping bra from Cake. I enjoy the construction and style as well as the fact that it makes it super easy to pump on one side and nurse on the other. Because I am overly blessed in the chest, this does not offer me enough support to feel comfortable wearing it outside of the house, but for someone who is not as well-endowed, this would be a super comfy leisure bra. I can see transitioning from pumping to yoga in this piece.
Wireless Nursing Bra:
When you need something that is comfortable enough to wear to bed but offers enough support to act as an everyday bra, I recommend one of our many wireless nursing bras. Our Royce nursing bra offers a 3-cup size range in each piece, which is super convenient as you are waiting to figure out where your girls are finally going to end up after your milk comes in. I find the adjustable neckline offers versatility in wear and allows for a more defined separation to prevent the look of the dreaded uniboob. If you are a fan of our Cosabella curvy bralettes (and if you haven’t tried them, let me tell you that you really REALLY should) then I recommend our new nursing bralettes from them as well. This Italian lace is soft, never itchy, and offers a great level of support. We also have a great new nursing option from OnGossamer which is modeled after one of their most popular everyday no-wire styles.
Flex-wire and Wired Nursing Bras:
Ok, here’s the thing. I spent the full third trimester of my pregnancy in our Evelyn and Bobby Defy bras. They are these amazing pull-over leisure bras that offer support that is comparable to a traditional everyday bra. They were great, and I still truly enjoy them. However, when I put on a wired nursing bra for the first time, and my breasts were FINALLY separated again (each in their own rooms, as I like to say) it was like heaven. I know, I know, as women we aren’t supposed to love bras, but ladies, I do, I really, truly do love a good bra. Of course, if you have shopped with us before, then you know the difference a properly fitted, quality bra makes, so you know that bras are not the enemy that they are made out to be. I am just so thrilled to have a trusty underwire bra to put on and go out in public feeling like my foundation is solid. My clothes fit better, and I just feel better all around. We have a great range of wired and flex-wired nursing bras from a variety of brands. Our newest brand is one called Hot Milk and they are designed to not only offer the function of being nursing bras, but also to give mom some options that offer style to go along with that function. I am personally really loving the Molly nursing bra by Elomi, which is modeled after one of our best-selling bras in store, Morgan. It has an amazing size range, a cute design, and a stretch lace detail at the top of the cup that works to both contain and offer a bit of give on these fluctuating girls.
If you are a nursing mother, then you inevitably will discover the joys of leaking. Yay! We have a couple of great options to help with this. Lily pads are a natural silicone product that use a mild suction seal to prevent leaking from happening before it starts. Since they stop the milk from flowing, you will not need to worry about leaks during your day. We also have bamboo nursing pads from Hot Milk, which are super soft and absorbent. They come two to a pack, one set is thinner and intended for daytime wear while the other set is thicker and suggested for wearing overnight. I have found that either set work well during the day and that the thicker pair do offer an appropriate level of absorption for nighttime wear when feedings are more spread out. You know, when my daughter sleeps long enough to space them further out. I look forward to putting them to the test when she finally sleeps through the night.
One more thing ladies…
Last, but most certainly not least, let us not forget that we owe it to ourselves to work on rebuilding the strength in our pelvic floors. I am so excited that I can cough without peeing all over myself again! Immediately following the birth of my baby, I felt like I couldn’t even clear my throat without having an accident. Every time I coughed it was a reminder to cycle through a set of clenching and releasing those Kegel muscles. Now that I have had my six-week checkup and my doctor has confirmed that my stitches are healed, and I have been cleared for all normal activity… down there… I will be incorporating regular training with our Ami Kegel trainers from Je Joue to help protect against future pelvic floor issues and combat the dreaded after-baby peezing (that peeing when you sneeze). They are made with medical grade silicone and come in a variety of sizes and weights which allows for you to strength train and work your way up the intensities. They are an affordable item to add to your self-care regimen and remember that taking care of you is paramount to being able to take care of those around you.
Something I have learned on this journey to motherhood is that we all need to make sure that we are working to lift each other and offer support to one another as mothers, both new and veteran. Too many are quick to pass judgement on another mother because she isn’t doing things the same way you are or that you feel it should be done. There are many paths to take, and lots of right answers out there. Try to remember that we are all working to provide our babies with the best possible lives we can and that your way is not the only way. That being said, a fed baby is the most important thing, whether you are physically and mentally able, and your schedule allows you to take on breastfeeding, or if formula is the best course for you, as long as you and baby are healthy and well, that is what matters. We support all women here and while we have a vast array of products that support breastfeeding, I felt it was important to note that this may not be every mother’s path. We have you covered whatever course you take.
I hope that this has offered some guidance to those of you seeking products and ideas for navigating the challenges of motherhood. Be well and enjoy that baby while you can. Remember, the days are long (and oh boy are they), but the years are short.
Wishing you all well on your journey,
Antonia, Store Manager & New Mom